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A Russian Propaganda Network Is Promoting an AI-Manipulated Biden Video

Published by Slashdot on Thu, 27 Jun 2024

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: In recent weeks, as so-called cheap fake video clips suggesting President Joe Biden is unfit for office have gone viral on social media, a Kremlin-affiliated disinformation network has been promoting a parody music video featuring Biden wearing a diaper and being pushed around in a wheelchair. The video is called "Bye, Bye Biden" and has been viewed more than 5 million times on X since it was first promoted in the middle of May. It depicts Biden as senile, wearing a hearing aid, and taking a lot of medication. It also shows him giving money to a character who seems to represent illegal migrants while denying money to US citizens until they change their costume to mimic the Ukrainian flag. Another scene shows Biden opening the front door of a family home that features a Confederate flag on the wall and allowing migrants to come in and take over. Finally, the video contains references to stolen election conspiracies pushed by former president Donald Trump. The video was created by Little Bug, a group that mimics the style of Little Big, a real Russian band that fled the country in 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The video features several Moscow-based actors -- who spoke with Russian media outlet Agency.Media -- but also appears to use artificial intelligence technology to make the actors resemble Biden and Trump, as well as Ilya Prusikin, the lead singer of Little Big. "Biden and Trump appear to be the same actor, with deepfake video-editing changing his facial features until he resembles Biden in one case and Trump in the other case," says Alex Fink, an AI and machine-vision expert who analyzed the video for WIRED. "The editing is inconsistent, so you can see that in some cases he resembles Biden more and in others less. The facial features keep changing." An analysis by True Media, a nonprofit that was founded to tackle the spread of election-related deepfakes, found with 100 percent confidence that there was AI-generated audio used in the video. It also assessed with 78 percent confidence that some AI technology was used to manipulate the faces of the actors. Fink says the obvious nature of the deepfake technology on display here suggests that the video was created in a rush, using a small number of iterations of a generative adversarial network in order to create the characters of Biden and Trump. It is unclear who is behind the video, but "Bye, Bye Biden" has been promoted by the Kremlin-aligned network known as Doppelganger. The campaign posted tens of thousands of times on X and was uncovered by Antibot4Navalny, an anonymous collective of Russian researchers who have been tracking Doppelganger's activity for the past six months. The campaign first began on May 21, and there have been almost 4,000 posts on X promoting the video in 13 languages that were promoted by a network of almost 25,000 accounts. The Antibot4Navalny researchers concluded that the posts were written with the help of generative AI technology. The video has been shared 6.5 million times on X and has been viewed almost 5 million times.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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